Apple and Netflix: Internal emails show the giants’ negotiations

Apple really wanted to keep Netflix as a partner
Apple really wanted to keep Netflix as a partner

Apple and Netflix are busy communicating with each other. Leaked emails show that Apple wanted to do some persuasion in order to prevent Netflix from removing support for in-app purchases.

Like so many documents that are currently being made public, these also come from the court case between Apple and Epic Games. They show that Apple wanted to convince Netflix to keep the option to subscribe to the streaming service in apps on Apple devices. Netflix wanted to remove the option because it would then incur a substantial commission to Apple for each subscription or fees to be paid.

In the end, Netflix actually canceled this option from December 2018. Apple conjured up some arguments that should prevent this step: For example, it was stated that the removal of the subscription option could confuse app users and also cross-marketing – make possibilities more difficult. Netflix again cited the reason that too many people who subscribed via iOS would quickly cancel it. Apparently they were also dissatisfied with that.

Apple also tried to counteract this and threw in that those users might then make do with vouchers from the trade – Netflix denied this with reference to internal data. Apple, in turn, weighed countermeasures internally, but was undecided. There was also a compromise in the room for the Apple TV app as horse trading. In the end, that didn’t bear fruit either. because Netflix didn’t want its content to be integrated into the app.

Netflix was not impressed by Apple’s arguments

Apple’s responsible managers even put together another presentation that should convince Netflix. She focused on Apple’s commission and why it was justified. Among other things, reference was made to recommendations and highlights of the app in the Apple App Store. Possible future collaborations were also promised – including bundles of Apple’s own services and Netflix. It didn’t help, however – Netflix waved it off.

After Apple removed in-app purchases from its apps in the Apple App Store in 2018, they didn’t go back either. Apparently, Netflix was simply too high the commission that had to be paid to Apple.


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